Parents Rush To Get State Required Immunizations

New state immunization requirements are creating a jump in demand for vaccines and consequently, a shortage of supply.

Hundreds of North Texas parents stood in line Friday for up to five hours at the Dallas County Health and Human Services Building to get their kids vaccinated.

North Texas pharmacies, doctors' offices and clinics ran out of the newly required vaccines, but the Dallas County Health Department said there was not a shortage of supply overall.

Many clinics who turned patients away told them to go to the clinic inside the Dallas County Health and Human Services Building. But parents were turned away there too, after 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Zachary Thomas, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services, said it wasn't because of a shortage of vaccines that they turned people away, but because of a shortage of manpower.

"We maxed out at about 400 people," Thomas said.

Some parents had no choice but stand in the long line in the early morning rain.

"The school said, 'We are not going to register her period, end of subject, goodbye, go away, until you have your shot record,'" said Keith Stockton, who had visited three other clinics before ending up at the Dallas County Health Services building.

Thomas said he expects more crowds on Monday.

"The schools have to follow the state rules of not allowing children whose immunization records are not up to date," he said.  "That's the point here. What we are seeing is that there are going to be a lot of children who are turned away on Monday."

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